Tag Archives: GMO

Contentious Transgenic Maize Paper Retracted

32Science – The journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has retracted a much-criticized paper that links a strain of genetically modified (GM) maize with severe diseases in rats. The paper’s author, French biologist Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, slammed the decision, which he said is an attempt by the GM crop industry to muzzle scientists who put into question the safety of its products.

Séralini’s paper sparked a media storm when it was published in September 2012. While some commentators presented the study as proof that GM food is “poison,” many scientists dismissed the study as flawed, and several official bodies also found it wanting.

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Growers race to save orange from spreading disease

37By Heather Smith

MSN News – Increasingly, orange growers have come to believe that genetic engineering holds the only hope for developing a tree that is resistant to an incurable citrus disease.

 Guy Davies, an inspector for the Florida Division of Plant Industry, checks an orange tree for the insect Asian citrus psyllid that carries the bacterium causing disease, “citrus greening” or huanglongbing, from tree to tree on May 13, 2013 in Fort Pierce, Florida.

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Study shows pig health damaged by genetically modified feed

18By Carey Gillam of Reuters
MSN News – Pigs fed a diet of only genetically modified (GM) grain showed markedly higher stomach inflammation than pigs who dined on conventional feed, according to a new study by a team of Australian scientists and U.S. researchers.
The study adds to an intensifying public debate over the impact of genetically modified crops, which are widely used by U.S. and many other countries around the world.
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Transgenics: A new breed

36Nature – When the first genetically modified (GM) organisms were being developed for the farm, says Anastasia Bodnar, “we were promised rocket jet packs” — futuristic, ultra-nutritious crops that would bring exotic produce to the supermarket and help to feed a hungry world.

Yet so far, she says, the technology has bestowed most of its benefits on agribusiness — almost always through crops modified to withstand weed-killing chemicals or resist insect pests. This has allowed farmers to increase yields and spray less pesticide than they might have otherwise.

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Biotechnology: Africa and Asia need a rational debate on GM crops

39By Christopher J. M. Whitty, Monty Jones, Alan Tollervey and Tim Wheeler
Nature – In Europe, scientists, politicians, industry representatives and environmentalists often present genetically modified (GM) crops either as a key part of the solution to world hunger or as a pointless but dramatic threat to health and safety. Neither position is well founded.

Recently, the often shrill debate that has unfolded in some European countries, including France and the United Kingdom, for the past 20 years has been spilling over to developing economies. The government of India, for instance, is considering banning all field trials of GM crops for the next decade — a move that could hurt large- and small-scale farmers by blocking their access to certain crop varieties that have been modified to grow better in local conditions, including types of cotton, soya bean and tomato. Meanwhile, in Kenya, where more than one-quarter of the population is malnourished, the government chose to ban the import of GM food at the end of last year but not GM crop research1. Like similar rulings made in Europe, such decisions seem to be based in part on emotional responses to the technology.

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Fields of gold – Research on transgenic crops must be done outside industry if it is to fulfil its early promise.

35Nature – It was 30 years ago this month that scientists first published the news that they could place functional foreign genes into plant cells. The feat promised to launch an exciting phase in biotechnology, in which desired traits and abilities could be coaxed into plants used for food, fibres and even fuel. Genetically modified (GM) crops promised to make life easier and nature’s bounty even more desirable.

As a series of articles in this week’s Nature explores, things have not worked out that way. The future matters more than the past, but when it comes to GM crops, the past is instructive.

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Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Other Big Grocers Make Big Decision on GMO Salmon.

salmaoTakePart – A number of major grocery chains announced today they’re not waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to approve AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon. Instead? They’ve made a pledge to their customers that they will not carry the controversial fish in their stores—regardless of what the FDA decides. This marks the first organized pledge made by a group of grocers to not carry GMO seafood.
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